THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When it comes to following fire safety standards, the state paints a dismal picture. Sample this: More than 10,000 buildings across the state were issued notices by the Fire and Rescue Services Department in the past two months for failing to meet mandatory fire management and safety standards.
They included several highrises, commercial complexes, houses, theatres and malls. The notices were issued for violating provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
Officers of each fire station in the state identified buildings under the station’s jurisdiction which were found violating the Act’s provisions. The owners of the buildings have then issued a notice which directed them to prepare an evacuation route and also install a fire protection system within 14 days.
“While some respondents put in place a proper fire management system, many sought more time,” said an officer with the Fire and Rescue Services Department. The fire that gutted two shops on MG Road in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday has once again brought to the fore the need for proper fire management facilities in buildings.
Details of those failing to abide by the directive will be forwarded to the District Fire Officer, who will issue another notice. If owners fail to fall in line, the District Collector can issue a third notice after which action can be initiated against the owners under the Disaster Management Act.
Capital also on the list
Fire and Rescue Services Department sources told Express nearly 1,300 buildings in the district were found lacking adequate fire handling facilities.
So far, nearly 650 buildings have been served with a second notice, said District Fire Officer Abdul Rasheed. “Our intention is to make tall buildings fire-safe,” he said. An officer with the department said they had been sending reports on the state of affairs of the buildings that lack fire safety mechanism to District Collectors.
“Now, they have become aware of the challenges and have shown urgency in addressing the issues,” the officer said.